Breast Cancer Awareness Month Reminds Us of the Importance of Mammograms
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an essential time to underscore the importance of early detection for breast cancer. At USMD Hospital at Arlington, we're proud to offer advanced mammogram services to help identify the early signs of breast cancer in women. Early detection significantly improves the likelihood of effective treatment and can drastically improve your quality of life. The entire month serves as a reminder to prioritize your health and encourages the Arlington and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX communities to learn more about breast health. Continue reading, then contact your nearest provider to schedule a mammogram.
Why is early detection through mammograms so crucial?
Early detection of breast cancer is vital for successful treatment outcomes. Mammograms are essential for spotting tumors and abnormalities before they're large enough to be palpable, thereby increasing the chances of effective treatment. In fact, some early signs of breast cancer are only detectable through imaging studies like mammograms. Regular screenings can save lives and allow for more treatment options, including less invasive procedures that can preserve breast tissue. Advanced screening methods can also identify different types of breast cancer, affecting treatment choices.
What guidelines should women follow for mammograms?
At USMD at Arlington Hospital, we suggest our North Texas patients receive mammograms as follows:
- Women between the ages of 40 – 44 should have the option to begin annual mammograms if they choose
- Those aged 45 – 54 are advised to undergo mammograms every year
- Women who are 55 and older can opt for mammograms every two years or continue with annual screenings
These guidelines can vary depending on individual risk factors, so it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider for a personalized recommendation. Following these guidelines could make all the difference in early detection and treatment.
What are the early signs of breast cancer in women?
The early signs of breast cancer in women can vary but often include:
- Lumps in the breast or underarm area
- Changes in breast size or shape
- Skin alterations like redness or dimpling
These symptoms should never be ignored; instead, you should contact your healthcare provider right away for guidance. They will likely suggest a mammogram to confirm or rule out a cancer diagnosis. The earlier these signs are recognized and acted upon, the better your chances are for a full recovery.
How does a mammogram work in detecting breast cancer?
Mammograms use specialized x-ray technology to capture detailed images of the breast tissue. During the procedure, each breast is compressed between two plates to obtain a clearer picture, which is then analyzed for any signs of cancer. This technology is highly effective in identifying early signs of breast cancer, such as small tumors or calcifications. The process is relatively quick and straightforward, designed to provide accurate results while minimizing discomfort. Digital mammograms, which are more effective for women with dense breast tissue, are another option that may be available.
Schedule your mammogram
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let's not forget that the need for early detection and mammograms persists year-round. At USMD Hospital at Arlington, our facility is equipped with the most advanced technology, and our dedicated team of healthcare professionals is committed to providing the highest standard of care. Take charge of your health now by scheduling this essential screening. It could be one of the most important appointments you make this year. Please contact your healthcare provider or visit our physician directory to connect with a women's health provider in the Arlington or Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area.